Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Storytelling increases museum visitor numbers
“If a 150-million-year-old Brachiosaurus could talk, what would it say? You can find out at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History, where many of the exhibits will soon tell their own stories using local voices, thanks to an initiative from local museum advertising specialist Leo Burnett.”
David Gianatasio, writer for Adweek
Time after time agencies and their clients prove that storytelling is the most effective way to activate a brand and to engage and involve a target audience and customers. The storytelling trend has been on the increase for a number of years now, and some of the social channels (e.g. YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat) are ideal storytelling platforms. Consumers want to be entertained. There is nothing particularly new about that. So why should you spend time on this post anyway?
Well, to hear the story of how, in 2016, Leo Burnett in Chicago, in collaboration with Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History, used storytelling in a brand new, original and highly participatory way. In the attempt they succeeded in setting a new visitor record.
So what did they do and why did they succeed?
The agency wrote more than 100 short scripts in the form of monologues and gave 100 different prehistoric plants, animals and minerals from the Museum’s permanent collection their own individual voices. Each monologue was a mix of humour and historical facts: for example the Brachiosaurus dinosaur who talks painfully about his own size and discusses the palaeontologist Elmer Riggs and his discoveries.
So what did they do with these monologues?
They sent a pop-up sound studio round the streets of Chicago and invited the inhabitants of the city, both young and old, to enter the mobile sound studio, choose a prehistoric creature and record its monologue. There were no restrictions in terms of how to read out the monologues. This led to people taking great liberties with the material, really letting rip and creating some highly original voiceovers.
The best voiceovers were then selected and uploaded, so visitors to the Museum can hear them on their smartphones when visiting Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History.
So did this storytelling activity have any impact on visitor numbers?
Yes. In 2016 the Museum welcomed 1.6 million visitors. That was an increase of 19% compared with 2015.
The conclusion must be that inviting your customers inside and allowing them to tell your story makes it easier to engage and involve them, thereby creating a stronger experience of your brand.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Buy your hacker beer
“On one hand we are sincerely pleased that an individual helped us find a security hole in our system. On the other hand, we believe that the individual went too far.
“And because we are convinced that an illegal act took place, we believe the correct thing is to report it to the police. Otherwise we could find ourselves in a situation, in which we are countenancing a criminal act, in which citizens’ names and Civil Registration Numbers were involved. That is why we believe that the right thing is for the authorities to assess the case.”
Extract from KMD’s statement regarding a security hole in their systems.
A few years ago (in a previous job) I was contacted by a user who had detected a security hole in one of our solutions. It was not a huge hole, but we should have detected it ourselves before the system was put into production.
It was obvious that the user had spent a bit of time investigating the extent. As the technical manager of the solution I asked myself: “Should we notify the police? After all, this guy tried to hack us.” My answer was: “No. We should send him a few bottles of red wine to thank him for taking the time to contact us.”
And that is what happened. We secured the hole, our user received some good bottles of red wine to thank him for contacting us, and that was the end of that.
7 tips on what to do, if a ‘hacker’ contacts you
Below I have compiled a series of tips for when a user points out a hole in your security. Remember. You are lucky that you are the first to get to know about it!
1. Do not panic.
The immediate reaction to why someone has gone to the bother of detecting a security hole and maybe even tried to find out how big it was is perhaps: Has the person in question consciously tried to hack us? But a ‘real’ hacker would not contact you and draw your attention to a security hole. So take a few deep breaths and wait before deciding whether or not to report it to the police, until you are 100% certain that the person has exploited the hole for something criminal.
2. Make contact
As quickly as possible contact the user who reported the hole – preferably directly (not via customer service). This shows that you are taking the incident seriously and also reduces the risk of information or details getting lost. It also makes it more likely that the user will help with further information, if you have a hard time finding the flaw yourself.
3. Limit the damage
Make sure you run error diagnostics and error correction as quickly as possible, especially if it is a serious security hole or a system that handles sensitive data. Consider whether the system should be closed down until the error is corrected.
4. Prioritise and keep notes
Make sure that the team appointed to solve the problem is given the necessary time to tackle the task. Appoint a team manager, who will be responsible for keeping a journal or log. It can be hard to remember details and moments at a later stage, especially when working under pressure.
5. Keep the informant up to date
Make sure you keep the informant updated about how far you have got with your error detection, and how close you are to finding a solution. If you can, provide an estimate of when you expect to be able to resolve the case. If you know that there will be nothing new to report over the next few days, tell them.
6. Acknowledge them
Regardless of how serious the security hole is, tell the informant that you are grateful that s/he got in touch. And, once you have closed any security hole, be sure to let the informant know.
7. Send the ‘hacker’ some wine
If it turns out that there was a real security hole, send a small box of special beers or some decent bottles of wine to the informant by way of thanks. The person in question may have prevented the hole from being exploited for something really ugly or from a stupid headline in the papers. It can be hard to explain even small, not-so-serious security holes to a journalist with knowledge of IT.
…and just one final tip…
Not everything has to wait until someone contacts you. Try to imagine that you are a user who finds a security hole. How easy is it to contact you to report it? Does the only available way consist of a contact form with auto reply stating that someone will contact you within 48 hours?
Consider providing an email address on your website specifically for reporting security holes, and make sure you react to any tip-offs immediately.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Has the concept of Big Data become uninteresting?
“Only 35% of people believe that they have the in-house skills to work with customer data in a way that gives them a competitive advantage.”
Quote from Geomatic’s analysis of Nordic B2C companies’ use of data
In 2015 and 2016 one of the big buzzwords was ‘Big Data’. No conference with any sense of self-respect did not include a presentation about the importance of gathering and storing all possible available data about the behaviour of customers and leads (web, purchase, SoMe etc.) and demographic information.
But where do we stand today? Did we do it? Do we use it?
Or have we realised that it is too hard to work with at the operational level?
Last year Geomatic conducted a survey in the Nordic region. The news is both good and bad.
The good news is that the companies they asked believe, on the whole, that it is essential to collect and analyse customer data, if they are to guarantee the future growth and revenue of their companies.
The not so good news is that only about 50% of the companies actually manage to collect and consolidate data, which they feel can be used for business development.
What is really frustrating is that many of the companies regard a lack of time and the right skills as some of the biggest obstacles. They also believe that, generally speaking, they are doing worse than their colleagues in the industry. Yet only 7% of the companies in the survey enlist external help from experts.
I often buy on line – food, take-away, electronics, clothes etc. I haven’t tried buying a car on line yet, but it’s probably just a matter of time…
One of my favourite sites is a large international clothing brand. They have a great site, fabulous products, excellent deals and astute recommendations on the basis of the products I’ve looked at. In addition, I regularly receive great emails that inspire me to buy again and again.
But there’s one thing that irritates me slightly. Their otherwise efficient re-targeting machine doesn’t get fed with relevant sales data. That means that about 2 weeks after I’ve visited the site, I get assailed on Facebook, news sites etc. by all the wonderful products I just have bought…
I look forward to an increased, and better use of Big Data at operational level – preferably in the near future.
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
QR codes are back
”Some things haven’t changed since QR codes were last a trend. Marketers are still hungry for ways to measure their digital efforts and prove there’s an attractive return on their investments. Additionally, marketers continue to seek out best practices for merging their online and offline efforts. With no runaway winners apparent, many may be willing to give QR codes another try.”
Chantal Tode, mobilemarketer.com
QR codes emerged in the field of mobile marketing in 2011, but only a couple of years later they lost steam, partly due to overexposure in print media and far too many broken links, which led to a really bad user experience.
We might have thought the adventure was over and done with.
But it looks as if a QR code renaissance has begun. Facebook, for example, has started testing personalised QR codes as a kind of reward feature, in which users can get their QR code scanned, when buying something in certain shops. It is this very trick that could potentially link a print ad to an in-store transaction – an exercise, with which many people still struggle.
Pretty exciting! As a big fan of recycling and circular economy, I will be keeping a beady eye on the development.
Thursday, June 29, 2017
With great power comes great responsibility
Google has come up with many innovative products and services that have made a difference to our lives. That´s a good thing. But Google's strategy for its comparison shopping service wasn't just about attracting customers. It wasn't just about making its product better than those of its rivals. Instead, Google has abused its market dominance as a search engine by promoting its own comparison shopping service in its search results, and demoting those of competitors.”
EU Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager.
Our own Magrethe Vestager has, in her role of EU Competition Commissioner, levied a record 2.42 billion euro fine on Google for abuse of its dominant position in online searches. The Commission believes that Google favours their own and selected partners´ search results by pushing their own price comparison service, Google Shopping, and placing results from competitors' services further down the search results.
Google dominates the search engine market worldwide but particularly in Europe. For example, the ability of the search engine to present relevant and speedy answers to consumers means that the phrase ‘just Google it' has become synonymous with finding the right answer to just about any question.
A digital dispatcher of billions of daily query responses should be objective in its prioritization and not prioritize responses that benefit its own business. That, at least, is the conclusion of the EU Commission.
According to the Commission, it´s well documented that consumers frequently click on the most visible results, i.e. results that appear higher up in Google search. The top ten ranking generic search results on page 1 together account for 95% of all clicks (while the top ranking result accounts for about 35% of all clicks). The top result on page 2 of Google's generic search results receives only about 1% of all clicks. 90% of all internet searches in Europe are done via Google´s search engine.
The situation is complex. Because it´s almost expected that a company will focus on its own services before pointing the way to its competitors. However, due to Google's dominant position in the market, the EU Commission expects greater objectivity from Google in its efforts to create a fair competitive environment.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Internet Trends rapport 2017
“This is the best way to get up to speed on everything going on in tech”. Kleiner Perkins venture partner Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report is essentially the state of the union for the technology industry”
If you haven´t seen it yet, take a look at the latest Internet Trends report 2017 drawn up by Mary Meeker, venture partner at Kleiner Perkins.
It's a comprehensive rundown containing the latest figures and analyses of online trends. Get the facts about how Google and Facebook account for 85% of the growth in online advertising, how user-generated content used in advertising can drive 6.9 times more engagement than brand-generated content, as well as the newest trends.
Read the full report or just click for the highlights version via the link above.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Story adds more value to your product
"Stories move not only people, but they also move product. The results were clear. Every time the product that had a story pulled in more money than the same product without one […] That's a lift on no additional investment."
“As a creative marketer, I strive to formulate a great story”. A story that engages consumers in a product. Because if product is bare and lacking a story, it will just disappear in the vast ocean of competing offers vying for consumer´s attention.
Consumers expect a good story. Maybe one that speaks to the heart. And when the product is wrapped in quality content with a good story - text, design, film, etc. - the value of the product is perceived as greater. These are the conclusions of an American study involving 3,000 consumers. Click on the link to see an infographic of the results.
So: Give your product a great story. Watch as your product gains value. That´s it.”
Monday, June 19, 2017
Women in advertising! Let's be ugly, stupid and audacious!
“The advertising industry demands that you take a lot of chances. That you can overcome lots of setbacks. Because 80% of the ideas you come up with will never come to fruition. It also demands that you´re willing to appear stupid. Half of the ideas I come up with stink! Women are more interested in being liked. To be attractive, to be seen in a certain way. You should like me. I've seen in myself and in other women that this sometimes gets in the way of actually being in the game.”
When Creative Circle announced the nominees for CCA17, I was excited to see which copywriters were on the list. I was particularly excited about which women copywriters were on the list because I don´t have the impression that there´s a wealth of inspirational success stories about women in the advertising industry.
Of the 7 copywriters nominated, all 7 were men. Zero women. Later I attended Creative Works, the inspirational gathering where the industry as a group looks at this year's professional solutions and challenges. I was looking forward to seeing and hearing some of our strong, talented, inspiring creative men - and, again, women - on stage.
Of the 17 speakers, all 17 were men. Zero women. What the hey? Where are they? Where are we?
Studies show that companies with women in management perform better than companies without. So we´re obviously doing something right. We´re obviously doing something REALLY RIGHT!
Maybe Olga Bastian is right. Maybe our niceness is holding us back. Perhaps the time is right for more 'Mad Women' in the advertising industry.
I'm happy Olga Bastian admits that even she was a nice girl once, a girl who didn´t dare risk being unpopular or saying her dumb ideas out loud. Because then there´s hope for the rest of us nice girls.
Because it's never too late to get a bit ugly, crazy and say lots of stupid ideas out loud. The question is, is the industry ready for all these crazy, ugly women? Maybe we should start small?
So on Monday I’m going to be a little bit uglier, a bit crazier... if you´ll join me. Agreed?
Friday, June 16, 2017
There are now 5,000 providers in MarTech - and that's a good thing
"The spectacular scope explosion of marketing - and the rate at which new disruptions and innovations continue to roil marketing and business at large - has made it impossible for any one vendor to deliver everything that every marketer needs in a digital world.
Instead of choosing suite or best-of-breed, many marketers are now taking a suite and best-of-breed approach - using the suites as digital marketing hubs and then augmenting them with a range of more specialized products to bake their own, special marketing and customer experience cake."
Over the past years we have been monitoring big IT companies and their passion for acquisition. Oracle is crazy about buying up Marketing Technology providers, there has been no end to IBM’s acquisitions and Adobe is working in overdrive to integrate the solutions it has purchased. Many people believed that the industry was now consolidated. With billions in the cash pile, was it just a question of time before choosing technology would become as simple as choosing a smartphone – Apple or Android, Adobe or Salesforce?
But even though the major ‘marketing clouds’ have evidently become stronger and stronger, we have seen the emergence of more new players than ever before with special solutions. Scott Brinker’s Martech Landscape, which appeared on 10 May, is a perfect example of this. 5,000 systems now appear on the map, as opposed to 150 six years ago.
Should we laugh or cry? Cry of course… out of laughter. Because the development also means that the huge variety of solutions work better and better together, and you can choose your ‘suite’ from Adobe or Oracle, without being tied to them for the rest of your life.